It could be argued that you use your feet even more than your hands. You use your feet for walking, standing, and even sitting—when your feet are often on the floor supporting a little bit of weight. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the appendages can fall victim to variety of conditions like peeling feet. You’ve probably experienced peeling skin on the bottom of the feet and maybe on your toes. You may have wondered what causes these itchy, peeling feet. In this article, we’ll tackle them head on. From peeling feet causes, to peeling feet treatment, we will cover everything you need to know, including how to get rid of peeling feet.
Why Are My Feet Peeling?
So, why are your feet peeling? Should you be worried? The good news is that most causes of peeling feet are not life-threatening. Your feet may hurt or feel itchy, but the causes of dry, peeling feet won’t even result in a hospital stay, let alone your death. Those causes can include:
Your skin naturally sheds, but on the bottoms of the feet, the dead skin can build up. This dead skin can become flaky and shredded.
The skin on your feet can become dry due to the environment or excess physical activity.
Fungal infection can cause the skin to peel from the toe areas, but can spread to the bottom of the feet if left untreated for too long.
Much like your back or arms, your feet can become sunburned; and much like your back or arms, the skin on your feet can crack and peel.
Certain fevers can cause excessive sweating that dries out the skin, including around the foot area. This could lead to dry, cracked and peeling feet.
Reactive arthritis or Reiter’s syndrome occurs when the body is battling an infection and something goes wrong. The joints, eyes, urinary tract, and skin can become inflamed. This can result in peeling of the skin on the palms and feet.
A general term for inflamed skin that can include conditions like eczema, dandruff, and rashes. All of these can lead to peeling skin on your feet.
The peeling skin on your feet may just be an allergic reaction. The most likely suspects, in this case, would be laundry detergent, food, or something from the environment.
The above causes are the most common and probable reasons for peeling skin on your feet. The next step is to determine a home remedy treatment that works best for your peeling feet.
How to Stop Feet from Peeling: Treatment and Home Remedies for Peeling Feet
Once you can pin down the cause of your peeling feet, you can move on to home remedies for peeling feet. Many of these solutions are quite simple, requiring just a little bit of time and a few ingredients.
1. Cold Water
Soaking your feet in cold water or using a cold compress could help relieve you of some of the issues of peeling feet. It may also be able to relieve any pain. The cold water method works well when the cause of the peeling feet is sunburn as it can relieve some the associated symptoms as well.
2. Warm Water
Soaking your feet in warm water might help get rid of the peeling skin, as it can help loosen the dead and damaged skin, making it easier to scrub away.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has long been used to help heal skin damage of all types. A little bit of aloe vera juice or gel can help repair damage to the skin of the feet, and in the case sunburns, it can also help relieve the pain. Take one fresh aloe vera leaf, place it in the fridge, and leave it for a few hours. Next, cut the tip off. Squeeze the gel out of the leaf and rub it gently into the foot and the peeling skin area (or into the sunburn directly).
4. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil can help the feet help retain moisture, which could help prevent dry-skinned feet from worsening.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil may help clean up many infections, fungal and otherwise. Soak a cotton ball in tea tree oil, and then rub the cotton ball over the infected areas of the feet.
6. Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal baths are often used for many skin conditions including peeling skin on your feet and many of the causes of the peeling feet like eczema. This comes from the gluten within oats that is released when soaked in the bath.
A more preventative measure, but keeping the skin on your feet moisturized can help repair peeling feet and can also prevent your feet from drying out in the first place.
8. Keep Hydrated
If you keep your body well-hydrated with water, the effects will spread to your skin, and your feet may repair themselves or never peel in the first place.
Feet Peeling: Gross, but Not Life-Threatening
Unless there is an infection or very bad sunburn, peeling feet is not a terrible medical issue. That being said, you can develop issues if even mild things are left for too long. Most of the peeling feet remedies are easily put together. Hopefully, one of these remedies will help relieve your feet of the peeling skin and possibly help you prevent it for next time.
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“Foot Care,” Ygoy Health Community, http://footcare.ygoy.com/2011/03/30/how-to-treat-peeling-feet/, last accessed May 19, 2017.
“Why Is the Skin on My Foot Peeling?,” Family Foot & Ankle Clinic, September 8, 2015, http://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/why-is-the-skin-on-my-foot-peeling/, last accessed May 19, 2017.
“Bottom of Feet Peeling: Causes and Treatments,” Med Guidance, http://www.medguidance.com/thread/bottom-of-feet-peeling.html, last accessed May 19, 2017.